Circular 13/76 (1976)
This brief circular explained the implications for local education authorities of the changes made by the Provision of Milk and Meals (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 1976.
The text of DES Circular 13/76 was prepared by Derek Gillard and uploaded on 23 March 2017.
Circular 13/76 (1976)
Provision of Milk and Meals (Amendment No. 2) Regulations 1976
Department of Education and Science
Joint Circular from the
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND SCIENCE, ELIZABETH HOUSE, YORK ROAD, LONDON SEl 7PH and
WELSH OFFICE, CATHAYS PARK, CARDIFF
PROVISION OF MILK AND MEALS (AMENDMENT NO. 2) REGULATIONS 1976
REVISED ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE REMISSION OF THE SCHOOL DINNER CHARGE
1. Revised supplementary benefit rates came into operation on 15 November and the discretionary addition to supplementary benefit make-up rates for special dietary needs was increased to £1.75 on the same date. Also the Supplementary Benefit (Amendment) Act, 1976 introduces a new provision into the supplementary benefit scheme under which the first £6 a week of the earnings of the parent in a single parent family will be disregarded in calculating entitlement to benefit. These changes necessitate a revision of the income scale prescribed in Schedule I to the Provision of Milk and Meals Regulations and some amendment of the arrangements for calculating a parent's net income for assessment purposes. Effect is given to these changes in the Provision of Milk and Meals (Amendment No. 2) Regulations, 1976 which were made on 14 October 1976 and came into operation 15 November 1976.
2. The effect of the Amending Regulations on the calculation of net income is to increase to £6 a week the disregard of earnings which may be claimed by the parent in a single parent family. The definition of single parent in the Amending Regulations follows the wording, insofar as it is applicable, of the relevant provisions of paragraph 23 of Schedule II to the Supplementary Benefit Act 1966 (as amended by the Supplementary Benefit (Amendment) Act, 1976). Entitlement to this disregard of earnings will apply to any parent who is not living with a spouse because he or she is single, widowed, divorced, or separated. A man who employs a female relative or other person to look after his children or keep his house on a full-time or part-time basis is entitled to claim this disregard (as well as any deduction to which he may be entitled under paragraph 4(2) of the Schedule to the Regulations) provided that he is not living with that person as husband and wife. In the case of a mother or female guardian, who makes application for free meals when there is a man in the household, the first decision, as at present, will be whether or not a new family unit has been established. If this is the case, entitlement will depend on the man's financial circumstances and the question of the mother's entitlement to the £6 disregard of earnings will not arise. In other cases the mother will be eligible for the new disregard of income.
3. In the case of a father or male guardian, the disregard of £6 of earnings applies whether or not the person concerned is in full-time employment: it is not subject to the same restrictions as the disregard allowed under paragraph 3(4) which applies only to the casual earnings of an unemployed person.
4. The allowance in respect of special diets (paragraph 4(6)) is increased to £1.75.
PUBLICITY FOR FREE SCHOOL MEALS
5. The Secretaries of State are aware that authorities take suitable opportunities of bringing the availability of free school meals to the attention of parents. Their attention is, however, occasionally drawn to cases where the publicity gives potential applicants little idea of the qualifying income level or the range of deductions and allowances which a parent may claim for reducing gross income to net income. The Secretaries of State appreciate that it is not practicable, nor of necessity helpful, for authorities to publish full details of the assessment provisions, but they consider it reasonable that sufficient information should be made available about the income scale and about the deductions, allowances and disregards of income to enable parents to come to a reasonable decision whether or not it is worth their while to make application.
To Local Education Authorities